Identical Twins: One a Nazi, the Other a Member of the Israeli Navy
Being they were identical twins and shared many similar characteristics, despite being raised so far apart and so differently, it nonetheless shoots holes in the theories of genetic predetermination.
That was one MAJOR thought-provoking aspect of their story.
Genetics do NOT determine our future as much as portrayed in mainstream publications.
Yet another aspect concerns a problem that still exists today in Eretz Yisrael: the infiltration of non-Jews as Jews into Israeli society.
Needless to say, I have no problem with non-Jews; they are created in Hashem's Divine Image and I especially admire the ones who keep the 7 Mitzvot of Noach.
I have a problem with non-Jews being accepted as Jews for all intents and purposes, and the severe transgressions and destruction which follow that limitless acceptance.
Or, in other words, the replacement of Zionism over Judaism.
Yet Another Story of Loss Due to Assimilation
Their father, a Jewish man from Romania, not only ended up without Jewish progeny, but with one son as a Nazi. (And maybe his older daughter too; not sure, couldn't find any information about her.)
Jack stayed with his Jewish father while his German mother returned to Germany with his twin, Oskar.
(The mother took the older daughter and the fussier, more sensitive Oskar.)
The Jewish father was a terrible husband; that's why she left. Even though so many people love to promote the idea that a Jew can be a good person without halacha, this ends up not being true so many times – especially after a generation, which moves even farther away from knowledge of Jewish values.
Assimilated Jews often end up being stunning reflectors of the society around them, regardless of the values of that surrounding society.
Yet Another Example of How Zionism isn't Synonymous with Judaism
Yet out of a well-intended yet completely misguided ideology, she advised Jack to immigrate to Eretz Yisrael.
Jack's father supported this (apparently encouraging Jack that this would be a good way to meet a nice Jewish girl – yes, for his 100% NOT Jewish son), so the completely non-Jewish half-German young man went to join the Israeli Navy.
He lived on a kibbutz and married a Jewish immigrant from America, with whom he had two daughters. (Yes, she knew of his parentage, but as is true of non-Jewish Russian immigrants today, he was apparently considered an honorary Jew for having served in the Israeli military, plus many apathetic or uneducated Jews feel that having a Jewish father is good enough.)
This is a terrible tragedy that can only happen when you replace Judaism with Zionism.
When a precious & powerful mitzvah is mauled out of its Torah status and then re-designed as a mere political ideology, this is exactly the kind of thing that can happen.
She and Jack later returned to America, where they divorced, and she became a music teacher at a Reform temple.
I wish there was a happier ending for Jack's Jewish ex-wife. I don't know whether she ended up marrying a real Jew after her divorce from Jack. But it's sad that even though one article describes her upbringing as "Orthodox" (usually, these characterizations are wrong because the people making them are ignorant about what Orthodox actually is, and just feel they are "Orthodox" in comparison to what other Jews were doing), she ended up in the Reform movement.
Again, we see that connecting to Zionism is not enough to prevent intermarriage or the drift into anti-Torah ideologies.
When Assimilation Means Your Children are Neither Here Nor There
She then left to Italy to find work, leaving Oskar to be raised by his strict Catholic grandmother, who beat him with a stick for the slightest infraction.
His mother insisted that Oskar even keep his Jewish connection a secret from his grandmother as she was a fervent Jew-hater.
As an interesting side point, the current newspaper articles on this story water this down by saying Oskar joined the Nazis "as an act of survival," but his actions throughout his life bely that. (To be fair, Jack's first wife, the Jewish one, repeatedly gave Oskar the benefit of the doubt, which is likely why the reports judge him favorably too. But reading between the lines, it really comes off to me as wishful thinking.)
For example, when Jack decided to visit his twin in Germany in 1954, Oskar insisted that Jack not mention anything about the Jack's "Jewish" identity and even hid Jack's luggage tags, which indicated he was from Israel. The article stated that Oskar did so out of fear of anti-Jewish family members (like his rabidly anti-Jewish step-father), but that doesn't make so much sense.
In Germany's 1950s, I doubt it was "fear" Oskar felt, but shame.
In fact, Jack himself voiced his suspicion that Oskar's insistence came from shame and not from fear or political reasons, as claimed in the media.
During that trip, Jack & Oskar only spoke together occasionally and in hushed voices (presumably because the only way they could communicate was in a combination of Yiddish & German, and Oskar presumably didn't want anyone hearing the Yiddish).
Oskar served in Hitler Youth during the Shoah.
When his original family name (the Jewish "Yufe") was discovered, his Gestapo uncle intervened to save him, with the family insisted that Yufe was actually French and pronounced "yoo-FAY."
Furthermore, it's perfectly reasonable to assume that after having been married to an alcoholic womanizing assimilated Jew, the Catholic German ex-wife might have developed a real hatred for Jews, fanned by the fervent Nazism in which she found herself.
What's more, Oskar lived within the fanaticism of Nazi Germany from the age of 6 to 16 with a Jew-hating grandmother and a Gestapo uncle, then later, with a Jew-hating step-father.
Why wouldn't Oskar absorb the values of the surrounding environment, particularly when the whole reason why his home life had been so awfully broken was because of the delinquent behavior of his assimilated Jewish father?
As further indication of Oskar true feelings: In order to just get along together, Jack and Oskar needed to avoid the topics of religion and war.
But Jack wasn't even Jewish, nor was he religious in any way. Why would religion be such a hot topic?
And war? What is the big issue?
Obviously, the articles are again blurring things. It's not "war" and "religion" that needed to be avoided. It must be specifically the topics of Judaism and WWII that needed to be avoided.
If Oskar hadn't bought into Nazi ideology, why would he and Jack need to avoid talking about Judaism or World War II?
One article even stated that they couldn't agree on the cause of World War II.
Gosh, how can that be? Determining the cause isn't that hard.
WWII is deeply researched and much less complicated to analyze than, say, the Balkans War of the 1990s.
So again, reading between the lines (although that one article above stated it outright), they needed to avoid speaking about Judaism and WWII, specifically.
And it's because Oskar's views didn't sit well with Jack's views, which were pro-Israel, pro-Allied Forces in WWII, and open-minded about Jews.
Finally, despite all the articles (and the words of Jack's Jewish first wife) that tried to prettify Oskar's anti-Jewish behavior, nowhere did I find any statement by Oskar himself (nor any quoted by Jack or his remaining sons from the second marriage) that indicated Oskar felt any sympathy for Jews – or even that he didn't actively hate Jews.
Interestingly, it was Jack's Jewish first wife who encouraged Jack to re-unite with his Nazi twin, after reading about twin studies being conducted.
Jack later remarried to a South American non-Jewish (I think) woman, with whom he had more children.
Jack and Oskar met again and tried to have a relationship, but were never able to really like each other.
Yet for all his Jewish lineage and stint in Eretz Yisrael, Jack made a chilling statement in his old age to Nancy Segal, the researcher into his and his brother's history:
"Children have no say in what they are taught...If we had been switched, I would have taken Oskar's place for sure. It doesn't bother me, but I'm glad I was not on the other side."
Seriously? It doesn't bother him that he would've been a Nazi? He's merely casually "glad" not to have been? That's it?
Footnote to the Story: Biased Reporting Once Again
Remaining with his father in Trinidad, Jack grew up as a racial minority – one of the only white kids in the area.
It's interesting that nearly all media accounts skip over Jack's terrible time with racist bullying as one of the only white kids in the area. He was physical assaulted again and again purely for the color of his skin.
One popular newspaper settled for describing it merely as "his own brand of isolation" while another summarized it as "tough" – no racism mentioned at all.
That popular newspaper tried to imply his supposed Jewishness as part of the reason ("being Jewish...where the main religions were Christianity and Hinduism") – just to play the minority card, I suppose.
(After all, it is not politically correct to state that white people can be victims of racism or that black or brown people can be just as racist as Nazis or the KKK. People who genuinely oppose race-based hatred will call out ALL forms of racism, and not pick 'n' choose their pet favorites.)
However, seeing as Jack and his father did nothing remotely Jewish and seeing as the reports of his childhood (including quotes from Jack's son) did not AT ALL factor his father's religion into the bullying, but only Jack's skin color, the implication of religion playing a factor must be just a trick of that popular newspaper, which though prestigious, has become an anti-Jewish anti-Israel joke.
To further bolster the point that Jack's father's Judaism played NO part in the bullying, one article stated that in Trinidad, "Jack never felt the weight of his [Jewish] identity." So he was clearly bullied only out of racism and not antisemitism, despite the attempted implication of the article.
Even with a story like this, you still need to read between the lines and comb through various versions to get the real story and to figure out which information is being manipulated for PC purposes.
In the above, the popular newspaper strove to make out Christians and Hindus as Jew-haters without even the slightest indication when there was ample proof that it was really brown and black people who were racist.
Just from this example, you see how they artfully invent lies while covering up facts.
It's really frustrating that mainstream media is so lacking in integrity with regard to responsible reporting.
You literally cannot trust anything they say.
What part of Jack & Oskar's story teaches us is the really place of genetics and how genetics DON'T determine moral choices. Genetics don't determine (or even seem to influence) values. And that's a valuable lesson.
But the rest of their story is a big tragedy and a lesson in what Jews should NOT do.